John Cunha is a Partner at ASAR and has been with the firm since April 2006. John practices in the areas of banking and finance, capital markets and mergers & acquisitions. John holds a law degree awarded by the University of the Free State, South Africa in 1999. John was in 2002 also awarded a Master in Business Administration Degree (MBA) from the University of the Free State, South Africa (in collaboration with De Paul University in Chicago, USA). John also holds a Master of Laws Degree (International Trade Law) (LL.M) awarded by the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. John was admitted to the South African bar in 2000 and was admitted as a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in 2007. John’s practice languages are English, Afrikaans, and Portuguese.
2015 / 2016 Highlights:
- Acted as Kuwait legal counsel to NBK Capital and KAMCO Investment Company (as Joint Lead Managers) in connection with the issuance by National Bank of Kuwait of KWD 125 million Tier 2 Basel III compliant Bonds. This is the first Tier 2 bond issuance in Kuwait by a local bank in compliance which was fully compliant with the Basel III regulatory regime as adopted by the Central Bank in Kuwait.
- Acted as Kuwait legal counsel to NBK Capital, KAMCO Investment Company and Gulf Bank (as Joint Lead Managers) in connection with the issuance by Burgan Bank of KWD 100 million Tier 2 Basel III compliant Bonds. This was the first bond issuance to have been successfully completed under the new Kuwait Capital Markets regime of 2015 and the new Kuwait Companies Law of 2016.
- Acted as Kuwait legal counsel to HSBC bank plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale, Emirated NBD and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (all as Dealers) in relation to the establishment of a USD 1.5 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme for Burgan Bank.
Banking and Finance
- Acted as Kuwait law counsel to the mandated lead arrangers (i.e., National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P. and Kuwait Finance House K.S.C.P.) and international financial institutions and export credit agencies, in relation to KD 3.1 billion financing of Kuwait National Petroleum Company K.S.C. (KNPC) clean fuel project.
- Acted as Kuwait law counsel to HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, J.P. Morgan Limited, National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P., the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC as initial mandated lead arrangers, and National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P. as agent of the other Finance Parties on a USD 6 billion loan facility for Equate Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C for, among others, its acquisition of petrochemical company ME Global from Dow Chemical.
- Advised Varengold Bank AG on a USD 100 million term loan facility and equity derivative transaction (under an ISDA Master Agreement) to be entered into with Kuwaiti counterparties.
- Acted as Kuwait law counsel to Doha Bank Q.S.C. for USD 200 million facilities to the Kuwaiti counterparty for the purposes of the completion of real estate development projects in Qatar.
- Advised Barclays Bank Plc, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV and Mashreqbank PSC on a USD 400 million to a term loan and revolving credit facilities for a UAE company that was to be guaranteed by a Kuwaiti counterparty.
- Advised Standard Chartered Bank, DIFC Brancho on a secured USD 200 million import letter of credit facility and financial guarantees/standby letter of credit facility to a Kuwaiti counterparty.
- Advises numerous global financial institutions and investment companies including, amongst others, Barclays Bank Plc, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS on their banking and investment business with Kuwaiti counterparties.
Mergers and Acquisitions
- Currently advising on the purchase of a 67% stake in a Kuwaiti listed entity.